Tender perennials from South America. All are grown as annuals, but they may live over in mild-winter areas. These are upright-growing plants with large, soft, oval leaves; both foliage and stems are slightly sticky. Flowers—very fragrant, in some species—are tubular, typically flaring at the mouth into five pointed lobes; they appear near tops of branching stems in summer. They usually open at night or on cloudy days, though some kinds open during the day. Some nicotianas reseed readily.Nicotiana alata
Wild species (for which seed is available) grows to 2–4 ft. tall (possibly to 6 ft. under ideal conditions) and 1 ft. wide. Bears large, intensely fragrant white flowers that open toward evening. Selection and hybridization with other species have produced many garden strains that stay open day and night and come in colors including white, pink shades, red, and lime green, but their perfume is not as strong as that of the “unimproved” common species.
Chinese native is a splendid cut flower and an effective bedding plant when well grown and free of dis...
California native. Erect, 1–4 ft. tall. Reddish stems, 1–1 3/4 -in.-long leaves, 1-in. flo...
Mediterranean native to 2 1/2 ft. tall and 1/2 ft. wide. Bears so-called everlasting flowers, with dai...